Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained

March 30, 2014

Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@Sipaz)Communal police of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@Sipaz)

According to a denunciation from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), on 22 March 12 members of the communal police and the communal authorities of Álvaro Obregón were arrested by units of the municipal police of Juchitán. Those arrested in the Zapata ejido were transferred by Navy units and handed over to the Public Ministry of Juchitán. During the early morning of 23 March, all those arrested were released, given that, as APPIITDTT notes, “there existed no type of charge that would justify their detention.”

On this same 22 March, unknown persons set fire to part of the communal police camp in the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis in Álvaro Obregón.

The APPIITDTT has denounced Saúl Vicente Vásquez, mayor of Juchitán, as the principal instigator of the acts, a week before the first Session of the National Indigenous Congress, Isthmus of Tehuantepec Region, in Álvaro Obregón.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan a compañeros detenidos de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón pues no existía ningún tipo de cargo (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Integrantes de la Asamblea Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón fueron puestos a disposición del Ministerio Público de Juchitán (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Continúan ataques contra asamblea comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón, policía municipal detiene a elementos de la policía comunitaria Gral. Charis sin motivo (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Video: Bandidos queman barricada del Ex-general Heliodoro Charis Castro (Gubidxa Guiní, 23 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

 


National: Popular Congress symbolically revokes energy reform and announces mobilizations

February 13, 2014

@www.congresopopular.org

@www.congresopopular.org

On 5 February, there was held a Popular Congress at the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City, to mark the 97th anniversary of the promulgation of the revolutionary Constitution of 1917.  2652 persons participated, being accepted as “popular representatives” independent of all political parties, government institutions, and firms.  The initiative was organized by means of social networks on the part of intellectuals, artists, and activists to promote a unifying process and to condemn the structural reforms that have recently been approved at the federal level.

The Popular Congress approved an initiative to revoke the energy reform passed in December 2013, and it called for peaceful actions of civil resistance for 18 March, to mark the 76th anniversary of the expropriation of foreign petroleum firms.

For more information (in Spanish):

www.congresopopular.org

“Revoca” Congreso Popular la reforma energética (Proceso, 5 de febrero de 2014)

‘Deroga’ Congreso Popular la reforma energética (La Jornada, 5 de febrero de 2014)

Congreso Popular ‘revoca’ reforma energética (Milenio, 5 de febrero de 2014)

Congreso Popular: que se vayan todos (La Jornada, 3 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Approval of energy reform (17 December 2013)


Oaxaca: Death threats directed against member of communal council of Álvaro Obregón

February 3, 2014

Álvaro Obregón. Foto @SIPAZ

Álvaro Obregón. Photo @SIPAZ

The General Assembly of the community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, has denounced threats directed at Eduardo Toledo, member of the communal council and opponent to wind-energy parks, on the part of political agents representing the mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, and former mayor Mariano Santana.

The background to this outcome can be found on 18 January, when the communal police of Álvaro Obregón  intercepted several militants from the PT-PRD parties who, on the orders of mayor Saúl Vicente Vázquez, sought to access the community toward the end of meeting to choose the authorities.  The communal police recalled that, according to a decision taken by the general assembly of the community, members of political parties would not be allowed entrance, and no authority not chosen by the citizens’ general assembly, the maximum internal authority, would not be recognized by anyone.

To avenge this ultimatum, Eduardo Toledo was threatened with death on two occasions (20 and 21 January) by the same people who had been denied entry to Álvaro Obregón, including one known to be Economic Minister of the Juchitán Town Hall.

The General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón has demanded in a communique, including other things, that the denounced death-threats be investigated and that the Juchitán Town Hall respect the decisions taken by the people of Álvaro Obregón in their exercise of self-determination.

For more information (in Spanish):

Operadores políticos del presidente municipal de Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, y del expresidente Mariano Santana, amenazan de muerte a Eduardo Toledo Orozco, miembro del cabildo comunitario de Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca (APIITDTT, 22 de nero de 2014)

Activista antieólico recibe amenazas de muerte del edil de Juchitán(Página3, 23 de enero de 2014)


Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar

January 15, 2014

San Dionisio del Mar (@sipaz)

San Dionisio del Mar (@sipaz)

On 7 January, Maurice Wilbrink, spokesperson for the Dutch pension fund PGGM, confirmed to the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf that the transnational corporation Mareña Renewables plans to cancel its wind-energy megaproject of 396 MW it had intended to build in Santa Teresa, San Dionisio del Mar municipality, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Oaxaca.  This decision was made because the firm believed it no longer enjoyed the conditions to install such a plant in the region.

Regardless, according to the same source, the project will be transferred to another two sites in the zone: in El Espinal where Wilbrink said that consultations with local residents have more or less been finalized, as well in the city of Juchitán, where work will begin shortly.

Adelfo Reigno Montes, Secretary for Indigenous Affairs in Oaxaca, called for the creation of better conditions so that these types of project “be taken in the mark of juridical certainty and social peace.”  He expressed his faith that the federal government could intervene together with state institutions for a dialogue among the involved parties to find adequate solutions, including a process of consultation with the communities that could be affected by such projects.

For more information (in Spanish):

Muerto, proyecto eólico en San Dionisio, Oaxaca: De Telegraaf (La Jornada, 9 de enero de 2014)

Retira su inversión Mareña Renovables; pierde Oaxaca (Oaxaca hoy, 7 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Protests continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 November 2012)


Oaxaca: European diplomatic delegation visits the Isthmus while attacks continue against defenders of land and territory

December 18, 2013

Delegación diplomática. Foto @Brigadas Internacionales de Paz (PBI)

Diplomatic delegation. Photo @PBI

During 12 and 13 December, representatives from the embassies of Switzerland, Norway, and Germany in Mexico carried out a trip to the Tehuantepec Isthmus toward the end of meeting with different human-rights defenders in the region and to “intensify the dialogue between the diplomatic corps and civil society and to make the prevailing conflicts over the construction of megaprojects in the region visible,” as the organization Peace Brigades International (PBI) notes.  PBI accompanied the diplomatic mission along with the Oaxacan organization Código DH during the visit.

Within the context of the visit, the delegation met with Father Solalinde in the Migrant Home “Brothers on the Path” as well as with the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).  Along with the APPJ, the mission visited the lands on which the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation is building the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.  The APPJ claims these lands to be communal.

Mariano López, spokesperson for the APPJ, noted that the delegation confirmed “the violations to the collective rights of the indigenous as committed by the Fenosa Natural Gas company with the construction of a wind-energy park on communal lands.”

Beyond this, the APPJ has denounced a new attempt at aggression against one of its members and spokespeople, Raymundo Regalado.  The acts took place on 11 December when a person associated with Fenosa Natural Gas followed Raymundo, threatened him, and tried to assault him.  The victim requested the assistance of the police and of passersby, leading the would-be attacker to flee.

For more information (in Spanish):

Constatan violación de eólicas a derechos de pueblos indígenas en Juchitán(La Jornada, 17 de diciembre de 2013)

Viaje a Tehuantepec (Embajada de Alemania en México, diciembre de 2013)

Empresa eólica Gas Natural Fenosa, hoy Bii Hioxho, atenta contra integrante de la APPJ (Observatorio Frontera Sur de México, diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Protests continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 November 2012)


Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013

Bettina Cruz. Foto @Sipaz

Bettina Cruz. Photo @Sipaz

The National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), made up of 135 human-rights defenders from 20 states in the Republic, has in a communique expressed its concern for the attacks and acts of harassment that Oaxacan defenders of indigenous and land rights have recently faced.  This is particularly the case for Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), Sara Bartolo López, and María del Carmen Sánchez Martínez, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).

Since the year 2007, these human-rights defenders have together with others been carrying out a struggle in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and their rights in light of the attempts by large multinational corporations (such as Fenosa Natural Gas and Mareña Renewables) to build large wind-energy parks on communal lands, without providing for free, prior and informed consent to the Ijkoots and Binnizá indigenous peoples who have been affected by the projects–as corresponding laws mandate.

The Network has demanded that Oaxacan state governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo guarantee the work of these rights-defenders free from harassment, reprisals, and death-threats by establishing and applying the necessary means to achieve this end.

In this way, the Network calls for guarantees for “members of the APIITDTT and the APJJ to have security measures to protect their lives and territory.  The rights of the people to defend their land and to decide not to allow the construction of wind-energy parks on their communal territory [must also be guaranteed].  [Moreover,] the rights of the people to free, prior, and informed consent [must be respected].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian campaña de hostigamiento contra defensoras de derechos humanos en el Istmo (Ciudadanía Express, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian campaña de intimidación en contra de indígena de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park

December 9, 2013

Entrada del parque eólico cercado con maya ciclónica. Foto @Tierra y Territorio

Entrance of the wind-energy park. Photo @Tierra y Territorio

Members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have confirmed that the communal pathway used on 30 November during the annual pilgrimage carried out by the Guela Be’ñe’ chapel has been closed by the Constructoral firm, which is carrying out the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park on the orders of the energy multinational Fenosa Natural Gas.  During the pilgrimage taken on that day–always on communal lands–pilgrims were harassed by state police and the firm’s private security forces, according to a denunciation made by the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH).

“During the pilgrimage that crosses communal pathways from which could be seen the seashore, giant wind-energy towers belonging to the Bii Hioxho project are being built in a polygon of 2000 hectares of communal lands [...].  This year, the Constructoral firm which is building Bii Hioxho for Fenosa Natural Gas did not allow the vehicles making up a pilgrimage to pass, [...] and the pilgrims were surveilled by the private and state police,” notes the APPJ in the communique released for that occasion.

According to Código DH, the people and communities have a right to their identity, and to “manifest, development, and show their traditions, customs, and spiritual and religious ceremonies, and to protect their religious and cultural spaces,” as is stipulated in article 12 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and it demands “the cessation of harassment, criminalization, and legal accusations against communal defenders and the denial of governments to recognize indigenous lands and territories.  The residents of the Seventh Section of Juchitán have the right to maintain their customs, to say NO to the wind-energy park, and to travel freely through their communal lands.”

In the middle of December, there will be held a new annual pilgrimage to the chapel of Guuze Benda, another sacred place for the residents of Juchitán that is located on the communal lands which the APPJ denounces as having been usurped for the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peregrinación de la Santa Cruz Guela Be’ñe’ (Estero Lagarto) un recorrido por nuestras tierras comunales Binnizá (Tierra y Territorio, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

APPJ en defensa de su identidad y costumbres (Código DH, 3 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: After 7 years, Section 22 recalls the 25 of November

December 8, 2013

Mitin de la Sección 22, 25 noviembre 2013 @ SIPAZ

Section 22 rally, 25 November 2013 @ SIPAZ

After 7 years, on 25 November 2013, Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) once again recalled the confrontation that took place between police and civil society in 2006 and repudiated the repression experienced in that year to demand punishment of those responsible.  The teachers marched to the zócalo of Oaxaca City, where they held a rally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros exigen castigo para los responsables de la represión de 2006(Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Boletín de prensa: “Conmemora Sección XXII represión del 25 de Noviembre de 2006″ (25 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: March-meeting of Section 22 of the SNTE in commemoration of 25 November (30 November 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: March of teachers and social organizations in observance of the repression of 25 November 2006 (28 November 2011)


National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform

October 4, 2013

DSCF1389

Sit-in of teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 11 September, dissident teachers from several Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, and Veracruz) joined the protests organized by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), which marched starting at 10am in Mexico City toward Los Pinos.  The Secretary for Public Education that day distributed the decrees which are to reform the General Law on Education demanding the expeditious institution of the laws recommended by the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education and the General Union of Professional Teaching Services, which entered in law on 12 September.

In Guerrero, some 5000 teachers from the State Coordination of State Educational Workers (CETEG) marched on the Sol Highway to protest the educational reform and its secondary laws.  In the protest participated teachers from the central and mountainous regions of Guerrero, principally, who went on strike in response to the call for mobilization on the part of the CNTE.

In Oaxaca, the Unions of Workers from the “Benito Juárez” Autonomous University of Oaxaca (STEUABJO) and of Educational Workers from the Oaxaca State Conalep (SUTDCEO) held a 12-hour strike to observe the national general strike called for by the CNTE.  Similarly, the Unified Front for Struggle (FUL) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), teaching students, and retired teachers participated in marches, occupations of buses, and blockades of the TV Azteca office, preventing the exit of dozens of workers.

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, approximately 1,500 teachers from Sections 7 and 40 marched, closing the four access-routes to the capital during the entirety of the day.  15 days after having begun the mobilizations and protest actions against educational reform, the teachers on that day added to their demand a rejection of the fiscal and energy reforms, in parallel terms to social organizations and campesinos.  By means of social networks and text messages, on 10 September there began a calumnious campaign in the media opposed to the teachers’ movement in Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros de Guerrero marchan sobre Autopista del Sol (Informador, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros preparan megamarcha en Guerrero (La Prensa, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan maestros en los estados contra la Reforma Educativa (Excelsior, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Protestan profesores en 17 estados en apoyo a la CNTE (Animal Político, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan Ceteg y MPG contra las reformas educativa y energética (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Inician maestros paro nacional (Proceso, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

A través de Facebook, amenazan de muerte a maestros chiapanecos (Proceso, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

La mirada femenina del derecho a la educación en México, por tres maestras de Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 9 de septiembre de 2013)

En Oaxaca, sindicatos y organizaciones realizaron manifestaciones de apoyo a la CNTE (Página3.mx, 11 septiembre de 2013)


Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar

August 20, 2013

Durante el Seminario en Álvaro Obregón @ SIPAZ

During the seminar in Álvaro Obregón @ SIPAZ

From 26 to 28 July, there was held an international seminar entitled “Energy megaprojects and indigenous territory: The Isthmus at the Crossroads,” which was held in the city of Juchitan de Zaragoza in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, in which participated state, national, and international organizations, all of them committed to the struggle against wind-energy projects in the region.

Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of Indigenous People from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, noted that the objective of the seminar was to create a dialogue between the peoples in resistance and investigators and academics, so as to promote alternatives within this area.  The thematic panels which were held included the following: political and economic reasons for looting megaprojects, human rights and indigenous peoples, indigenous  and popular resistance, and organizations and visions for the future.  The panels had speakers and researchers from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia, including Michael W. Chamberlin, from INICIA, or Initiatives for Identity and Inclusion A.C.; Ramona Margarita Díaz, from the Departmental Assembly for Defense of Popti’ Territory and Linguistic Community, Guatemala; Edmundo del Pozo, from the Foundation Center for Analysis and Investigation; Ricardo Verdum, from the University of Brasilia; and Eckart Boege, from the Network for Ethnoecology and Biocultural Patrimony of Mexico, among others.

During the course of the seminar, participants visited the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis Castro, located in the municipal agency of Álvaro Obregón, close to the barricade of those opposed to the wind-energy projects.  With the slogan “We are here, we do not sell out, we do not give up: we continue!” the members of the Council of Elderly of Álvaro Obregón, the “General Charis” Communal Police, and the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón sent the message to the state and federal governments that they will continue struggling against the wind-energy projects that are planned to be installed in the Barra of Santa Teresa in the Tehuantepec Gulf.  Representing the Zapotec opponents to this wind-energy project, Pedro Orozco López indicated that the residents do not believe the version presented by the firm Mareña Renewables–that is, that it has suspended its work–given that it has not definitively left the region.  However, it is true that the firm has left the region at least temporarily, but the communards are concerned that it will return under a different name.  In this way, the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón has denounced the harassment suffered during a year of struggle against the federal and state governments, which support the wind-energy projects in the Isthmus region.  They also announced that they would continue having the communal police in the city, so as to protect the population from the invasion by wind-energy corporations.

For more information (in Spanish):

DECLARATORIA

En Juchitán realizan seminario internacional de megaproyectos eólicos (Página3, 28 de julio de 2013)

Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos en seminario internacional (Educa, 29 de julio de 2013)

“Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos de Álvaro Obregón (Quadratín Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2013)

Audio:

Vientos De Juchitan (Ojo de Agua Comunicación)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


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